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  #1  
Old 14-08-13, 05:42 AM
Salvage Sailor Salvage Sailor is offline
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Default Royal Artillerymen 4th Indian Division Red Eagles

Aloha Everyone,

I am conducting some research on two (2) photographs and (2) 4th Indian Division Regimental badges that are apparently the mementos of a member of the Royal Artillery. They were mixed in with a large archive of US Navy Salvage photographs. Quite often when our association receives photo archives there are 'odd' things mixed in. In this instance, it appears to be "some of your boys".

Would you please take a look at these photographs and cap badges and tell me if you can identify these artillerymen? The resolution on the photos is not very sharp, but I can provide detail photos if you wish.

From what I can discern thus far, they are a Royal Artillery unit based upon their cap badges, although I do not know which Battalion/Regiment they belong to. There are (2) officers and (56) men in the photos, many of them being Sergeants. They are all wearing the 4th Indian Division badge. The second photograph has the names of the (20) men on the reverse, though unfortunately the other photo with the officers is unmarked. The location and date of the photos is unknown. Western Desert? Italy? I am very familiar with US ranks & rates, but would have to look up the specialties of the Sergeants' chevrons in the photos to know what they represent. It's very possible that someone could match the (20) names to the ranks and figure out which artillery unit they belong to.

Along with the photos were a printed version of the 4th Indian Division Red Eagle & a cloth/felt version of the Red Eagle as worn by the men in the photographs.

I'd be very interested in your observations.

Regards
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  #2  
Old 16-08-13, 10:39 AM
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I'm happy to contribute my thoughts to this interesting puzzle.

The photos have all the hallmarks of North Africa 1943 - probably between the end of hostilities in North Africa in May and the Division's move to Italy in December 1943 - especially as my research suggests that the 4th Indian Division did not wear their eagle formation sign until that stage of the war.

According to the Division's pamphlet in Chris Kempton's series Loyalty and Honour - The Indian Army 1939-1945 at that date the Royal Artillery regiments serving with the Division were the 1st Field Regiment, 31st Field Regiment and 11th Field Regiment - 32nd Field Regiment were with the Division until 23rd March 1943.

The Division wore two sorts of formation sign during its wartime service. The first is the embroidered example, the majority of which were hand made in India and presented to the Division by the women of India. Subsequently the printed version was obtained by the Ministry of Supply in Britain - almost certainly from a company called The Calico Printers Association - and sent to the Division in Italy.

Sadly none of this allows certain identification from the names on the pictures but I hope it helps.

Jon
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  #3  
Old 08-09-13, 01:37 AM
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Default Red Eagles

Thank you for the information Jon,

That fairly well sums up my opinion on the photograph. Most likely taken in the Western Desert prior to the Italian Campaign.

Regards
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  #4  
Old 08-09-13, 06:28 AM
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A history of 4 Indian Div states that whilst the design of the red eagle of black rectangle had been adopted prior to Sep 40 ("By the time 7 Brigade joined the Division it had already acquired its red eagle sign") the first pattern (felt on felt) sign for wear on uniform came the following year ("... and so far as we remember, sometime in 1941 the women of the Punjab at the instance of the Punjab's Prime Minister presented us with our first lot of shoulder flashes..")
By my count the following RHA/RA units served in 4 Indian Div - 3 RHA, 1,4,11,25,31 and 32 Fd Regts, 65 and 149 ATk Regts and 57 LAA Regt. Of these the early desert war originals from Sep 40 were 1, 4 and 25 Fd Regts RA.
This might narrow the field of search a little, but the only real hope of positively identifying the regiment is to get really lucky with one or more of the names on the back of the image. If the image were mine, I would do just that - google can sometimes work wonders.
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  #5  
Old 08-09-13, 10:46 AM
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Default 4 Indian Div

Here's an example of the first pattern of the 4 Indian Div formation sign as made by the women of the Punjab and presented to the soldiers. The reverse of the card is blank.
4 Indian Div_1st Pattern.01.jpg
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  #6  
Old 09-09-13, 03:18 PM
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Revdougal is the boy for RA questions.
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  #7  
Old 26-01-14, 03:32 AM
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Aloha Everyone,

Thanks again for the replies. Here are some details from the two photographs for pondering over the badges.
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  #8  
Old 26-01-14, 03:36 AM
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....and two enlarged details
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  #9  
Old 24-04-14, 07:28 PM
loupie1961 loupie1961 is offline
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My contribution to the thread: a combined formation sign of the 4th Indian Division artillery, already posted on another thread....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Epaulette_4_Indian_Division_Artillery .jpg (94.9 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg Epaulette_4_Indian_Division_Artillery_back.jpg (108.7 KB, 10 views)
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  #10  
Old 10-05-18, 07:21 PM
MikeJames1955 MikeJames1955 is offline
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Default 4th Indian Division & RHA

My father was seconded from 3RHA to support the 4th Indian Division in the battle for Keren, Eritria between feb & apr 1941, followed by the successful attacks on Bagdad and Damascus returning to join 3RHA on 21 September 1941 in Cairo. During this time they were known as the 1st Independent Anti-Tank Troop (Sudan). However I do not recognise him in the photos.
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  #11  
Old 29-09-18, 10:03 PM
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Default 4th Indian Division & RHA

Aloha Mike,

Thanks for the reply regarding the anti-tank troop.

Anyone else recognize these Artillerymen?
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  #12  
Old 29-09-18, 11:19 PM
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Default 4 Indian

Looking at the FS cap worn by the Other Ranks, they are wearing the 'large gun' badge. This ceased to be used by artillery units, other than RHA, early in the war, in favour of the exploding grenade.

Option a) this is a RHA Regt
Option b) the regt had been so long in the Western Desert they still retained 'old' stock of gun badges.

Stephen.
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  #13  
Old 25-10-18, 04:05 PM
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My late Father-in-Law, Joe Arden, served as a Bombardier in 1 Field RA 1942-46. I don't recognise him in these photos unfortunately.
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  #14  
Old 26-10-18, 11:36 AM
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A couple of examples from my collection illustrating the two types worn by British battalions in the division
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File Type: jpg 7542A6E5-AD6B-4E6E-9F4D-8649620E5D41.jpg (78.9 KB, 11 views)
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